Code Talkers Day is celebrated annually on Aug. 14, the date of the Japanese surrender marking the end of the war. The ceremony is typically held in person but was taken online this year because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Hundreds of Navajos serving in the U.S. Marine Corps transmitted messages using a code based on the Navajo language. The code developed by an original group of 29 Navajos was used to confound Japanese forces. It was never broken. Only a handful of Code Talkers are still alive.
Joe Vandever Sr. died of health complications Friday in Haystack, New Mexico.